Midwest Bank Helps Unemployed Customers In Unexpected Way

Fifth Third Bank unemployment programThere are plenty of mortgage relief programs out there, from the well-intended to the deceptive and illegal. But one bank is offering real and potentially transformative help to its unemployed mortgage customers, who are struggling to make their payments. Fifth Third Bancorp, based mainly in the Midwest, is offering 16 weeks of free online job assistance to customers who have missed two consecutive mortgage payments because of employment problems, reports the Chicago Tribune. The job help is coming from NextJob Inc., a Bend, Ore.-based employment firm, in the form of a weekly webinar, job-search software and one-on-one coaching.

Since the housing bubble burst dramatically in 2008, and unemployment soared, lenders have been trying to ease the pain of those jobless homeowners who were suddenly saddled with impossible debt. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began offering, and then extending, temporary reprieves from mortgage payments. But for many, that simply delayed the problem, and home counselors cautioned that a real solution had to be long-term.

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Partnering up with a reemployment agency might be just the fix. During the program's trial period last year, 11 of the 28 participants found work by the end of the six months -- a success rate of 40 percent.

While it sounds like an initiative straight out of "It's a Wonderful Life," the Fifth Third considers it smart business. After all, the job-search program costs $1,500 per person -- a pittance compared to the $40,000 to $60,000 that a bank loses, on average, when someone forecloses on a mortgage. And unemployment is the primary reason a person defaults.

"We came out well ahead," Fifth Third's Chief Marketing Officer Larry Magnesen told the Tribune. "These people are back to meaningful employment, and the family is staying in the house."

NextJob, which mostly works with employers to provide help for the employees that they've layed off, has been particularly innovative in expanding its reach. The company has two 40-foot buses filled with computer workstations, which it parks in underserved communities to offer up financial help.

"Job loss, followed by the loss of one's home, is severely damaging to individuals and families," NextJob's CEO John Courtney said in a press release announcing its new multiyear contract with Fifth Third Bank. "This program is a simple but big idea and it's time has come for the banking industry."

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What a great Idea. Being part of the solution and ot part of the problem.

February 21 2013 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
missouri mom

So many of the banks and mortgage companies put people on the street when the recession hit. They seemed very heartless.

February 20 2013 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What would that do for a homeowner when they are already behind 2 payments? The banks won't take 1 payment when you are behind 2, they want 3 payments or it is being foreclosed. If the bank really truely wants to help, they will offer the assistance and automatically put 3 payments on the tail end of the loan to give the client some breathing room. They are stressed out enough. The bank is really not offering anything, but basically trying to look like they are.

February 20 2013 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott Soenksen

Interesting that the Chicago Tribune is praising a bank, since the CRA came out of Chicago. I wonder what 5/3 bank has done to \"earn\" such praise.

February 20 2013 at 9:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I forgot to add...in March 2006, 5/3 tried to put Comair out of business....again, same scenario....5/3 tried to sieze all their assets...Comair couldnt even buy fuel for the planes....Google The Cincinnati Enquirer...date is Tuesday, March 9, 2006.....fortunately, Delta had the resourses to stop 5/3, unlike many, many small business owners.....and a federal judge put a stop to them....

AND....of course they had to borrow many millions from the government to remain solvent......your money and mine, to bail themselves out for their pathetic business practices.....Hmmm, wonder if its all been paid back yet...

I would love to know the total number of people they "put on the street" by unfairly closing small businesses....it was 12 in My company....

All Verifiable......

February 20 2013 at 1:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have had a checking account with 5/3 bank for about 35 years. Now I have to pay them 11.00 a month for an account that I have had service free. But maybe the reason they are taking my 11.00 a month is to help out other people. Not fair to me. I don't have a job and this is really going to put the hurt on me. Thanks 5/3

February 20 2013 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

DO NOT think or believe for one moment that 5/3 is ANYONES friend....they are the terrorists of the banking community in Cincinnati....they execute cognovit notes, shut down businesses, even though they are NOT behind in any payments or loans....They are the most despicable bank to deal with....their Law Firm, is paid and graded on how many businesses they can close and shut down...the local sheriff dept could not keep up with the number of businesses they closed, and executed debtors judgements on , even though the businesses were not behind on payuments or loans to them....I know this 1st hand....I was one of those business owners....they are scum, and after 10 years, I still have all the documents to prove it....read all your paperwork, you will see things like :cognovit note", "inter alia clause"....when you do business with them, you give away any and all legal rights that you have.....Never late on a payment, never behind on any notes, an 11 year old business that they shut down in 30 days....hard to beleive ? Yes, almost impossible, unless it happens to you....you think if you pay your bills, good credit, and stay current with all your obligations, then you are fine,,,,BUT, NOT WITH THEM....They will take everything you own at the first chance they have.....
If you dont believe me, contact Me and I will be happy to show you the proof.....They are worse than what Rumpke takes to the Landfill !! I could write a book, on what and how they do to break people....and so could about 100 other businesses in Cincinnati....THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND !!!

February 20 2013 at 12:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Do you want a safe place to keep your money? Try a mason jar. No fees.

February 19 2013 at 11:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

5/3 is not a Midwest bank. Every time I had to deal with them, I was calling to somewhere in California and talking to someone who had very poor English. That is not the Midwest, that is Southwest.
But after being on hold with a bank for over 12 hours in two months, I had my loan bought by another bank-- IN THE MIDWEST, with people I could talk to in person, and could understand 100%.

February 19 2013 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Screw 5/3, they try to put on a nice face while they take it to normal people. Take a bridge loan to build a house, sell your first house then go to build your new house and get the "we don't do those anymore, but make sure your property payment is turned in on time or we'll come after you". They're snakes, and will chase you to the end of the earth to get their money.

February 19 2013 at 10:10 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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